Surprising Lessons Learned From a Question About Abandoning Ill or Dying Loved Ones

Reasons behind the predilection are not always as they appear on the surface.

Joel Eisenberg
7 min readJun 18, 2024


Photo by Vasily Koloda; Unsplash


There was a reason I selected this particular lead-in photo for this particular story.

It blurs the lines.

Does the image present an individual simply walking alone in the snow? Is that individual wandering to meet his, her or their destiny? Is the person walking towards another human being, or escaping from one?

Perhaps only the photographer knows for sure, but that knowledge does not stop me from asking another question inspired by reading into the image (though there is nothing therein to indicate as much): Is either the subject or anyone possibly surrounding ill or even dying?

Again, I am fully aware sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and the image may well solely portray some stranger walking in the snow with no symbolism behind it whatsoever.

However… since my wife unexpectedly passed away last November 26, my mind has frequently turned to issues related to mortality, hence the observations that follow.



Joel Eisenberg

Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.